PHYSICAL EXAMINATION Physical examination is crucial in initial identification of DDH.

The following is a general overview of the procedure for physical examination of the infant hips. Please note that the reliability of physical examination changes as the child grows, therefore examination techniques vary depending on the age of the child. Prior to physical examination, the examiner should5: • Gain consent from the parent/guardian • Ensure a warm, quiet environment for the examination to occur • Ensure the infant is well, relaxed and fed • Remove clothing from the lower limbs • Place the child on a firm, flat examination surface 
 Birth to 3 months of age • Ortolani Test (reduction test)
 “ The Ortolani is performed with the newborn supine and the examiner’s index and middle fingers placed along the greater trochanter with the thumb placed along the inner thigh The hip is flexed to but not more and the leg is held in neutral rotation The hip is gently abducted while lifting the leg anteriorly. With this maneuver, a “clunk” is felt as the dislocated femoral head reduces into the acetabulum”5 • Barlow Test (stress test)
 “ The arlow provocative test is performed with the newborn positioned supine and the hips flexed to The leg is then gently adducted while posteriorly directed pressure is placed on the knee. A palpable clunk or sensation of movement is felt as the femoral head exits the acetabulum posteriorly This is a positive arlow sign” 5 After 3 months of age, the Ortolani and Barlow tests may be unreliable5, therefore additional means of examination, used in combination with the Ortolani and Barlow tests, are necessary. The screening techniques described below may also be used with infants 0-3 months of age. Older Infants (> 3 months of age)
 • Check for restricted abduction at the hips
 imited abduction is the most sensitive sign associated with in the older infant ith the infant in supine on a firm flat surface with pelvis stabilised and hips and knees at abduct and adduct the hips to check for restricted range of motion This manoeuvre should be

PHYSIOTHERAPY MANAGEMENT OF DDH USING A BRACE / HARNESS Children who are diagnosed with DDH in the first 6 months of life may be treated with the application of a hip brace. • Check for asymmetrical thigh and gluteal skin folds
 With the infant in prone. or a waddling gait may be present9. increased lumbar lordosis. The harness should be applied as soon as possible following confirmation of diagnosis6. however other braces. a limp may be present or the child may toewalk on the affected side. This document will focus on the process of treatment using a Pavlik Harness. Application of the Pavlik Harness10: Fitting the Harness • With clothing removed. Note that asymmetrical skin folds alone do not constitute a diagnosis of DDH1.12 • Check for leg length discrepancy
 Total leg length discrepancy should be assessed in prone with hips and knees extended. This test should be conducted with the infant in supine on a firm flat surface with the pelvis stabilised and level ips are flexed to and placed in neutral adduction/abduction. such as the Dennis-Browne brace may also be used. however this information can be used in combination with other physical signs during assessment. the vertical level of the knees can be assessed for asymmetry5. Physiotherapists who receive a referral for an infant below 6 months of age with suspected or diagnosed DDH should review the risk factors of the infant and carry out a physical examination of the hip/s. In children who are walking. the baby is laid on top of the harness in supine • Shoulder and chest straps are adjusted and velcroed into position . with knees in flexion. check for asymmetrical thigh or gluteal folds. In the HNE Health the Pavlik Harness is generally utilised for this purpose. In this position. If DDH is present in both hips.performed gradually and may need to be repeated a number of times to ensure an accurate result is obtained ormal range of motion at the hip is abduction to or more with range less than this suggestive of DDH. as well as assessing for leg length discrepancy using the Galeazzi Test. Application of a pavlik harness should only occur if diagnosis has been confirmed by an Orthopaedic Surgeon or treating Paediatrician. prominent buttocks.

Appendix 2 of this document provides a parental handout on caring for a child in a pavlik harness. • Reapply clothing over the harness The harness should be kept on at all times. Duration of treatment using the harness should be determined in consultation with the Orthopaedic Surgeon. unless instructed by the Orthopaedic Surgeon to be removed • For this reason. The following instructions are of particular importance: • The harness must be kept on at all times. the baby must be sponged bathed with a damp cloth • Skin care should be discussed and parents shown those areas that need to be checked regularly for 
 signs of pressure • Parents must not change the position of the harness – only the Physiotherapist or Orthopaedic 
 Surgeon should change this position 
 A parent handout should be provided to all parents with a child placed in a pavlik harness. Parent Education It is the responsibility of the Physiotherapist to ensure that parents understand the care instructions for the pavlik harness. bathe the baby and re-apply a clean harness. On completion of treatment using the pavlik harness. the physiotherapist should ensure that the child has an appointment with the Orthopaedic Surgeon to review the hip/s once the child is walking.• Leg straps are adjusted and velcroed into position • The optimal hip position within the brace is hip flexion approximately and hip abduction greater 
 than or equal to • Check to ensure room for growth at the straps – a finger should be able to be comfortably inserted 
 behind each strap. Skin integrity should be checked at each weekly appointment. with weekly physiotherapy appointments to remove the harness. even if symptoms of DDH have resolved. 
 Follow Up 
 The physiotherapist should: • • Ensure the parents have weekly Physiotherapy appointments for a bath / change of harness Ensure the parents have a follow-up appointment with the Orthopaedic Specialist .

• Ensure the parents have contact details of the Physiotherapist .